Australian Alumni

    CMC Alumni Association of Australia



Dr. Mahiban Thomas


0401 116 199
[email protected]


Dr. Meshach Kirubakaran

0400 147 581

[email protected]


Dr. Abdul Lathif


0402 842 709
[email protected]



Message From the President – Mahiban Thomas


Dear Fellow Alumni,

First of all, best wishes for the New Year to your family and you.

Our last meeting at Hobart in October 2017 ( 13th gathering) was an amazing coming together of alumni from not just CMC Vellore, but also from CMC Ludhiana, and non-medical alumni as well.

As you are all aware, we call our reunions as Gathering Of The CHristian Medical College Australian Alumni – GOTCHA, the acronym that we have culled from the above; hopefully it gets to us.

Dr Nitin Verma, and his lovely wife, Anu, must be congratulated for an outstanding venue, superb food and wine, and an amazing scientific program.

Let me expand a bit on the science of this meeting, because we do not usually dwell on this aspect of these occasions of celebration and reunions. We were educated widely. Very widely. As a surgeon, I have not many opportunities, and indeed not much inclination to find a seat at an O&G presentation (despite Sujatha, the better half, being an active obstetrician), or at an ophthalmology conference, or indeed at a nephrology or immunology meeting. I guess that if I had an opportunity to be present at some of these non-surgical meetings (as an invited speaker), I have found solace at the bar until I could decently depart.

So, it was indeed being captive to the mesmeric (truly!) psychiatric presentation on PTSD, and to listen to the largest group of specialists within the Hobart gathering doing two talks on their specialty – it was the obstetricians (the collective noun for obstetricians is a SMEAR) – and to a superb talk on the history of dialysis, an outstanding talk on the care provided in macular degeneration. Wow!

A treat to learn about the utilisation of technology and materials, a cross pollination of knowledge within that room, with the Engineering abilities of Anu Verma combining with anaesthetic skills towards creating a safer airway.

Amazing to hear from the outstanding volunteer work in a small neighbouring country with immense needs, tapping into the highest office in both countries, and from multiple OECDs to achieve the impossible! And, the use of social media to mobilise a town with a massive GDP and poor health resources – superb!

For me however, the stand out and the greatest learning was a talk on an area that I was aware of peripherally, emptying some of it to benefit H&N Cancer patients only. Monoclonal Antibodies.   All in two sessions.

After my return to Darwin, my poor department was subject to education in cross pollination and the learning that can occur from such an exposure. Fortunately, I had support from my Fellow, who was the youngest attendee at the Hobart meeting, and a second-generation CMC-ite, the son of Professors Sadhu. Batch of 2001. He lowered the average age. By a lot.

That really was the major talking point at the AGM, which apart from a small but vital
administrative change – welcoming Dr A Latif as our Treasurer (to replace Dr S Aseervatham, who is now the President of the Friends of Vellore, Australia, and doing a great job there) – was centred around how to attract and retain our younger generations of alumni to be a part of this annual celebration.

A matter that had been raised the previous year was actioned this time, and a WhatsApp group was started instantly. Of course such work was delegated to the most tech savvy (read youngest) attendee, and we now have an active group that discusses matters from Uluru to Pesarattu!

To become a member of this august group, all you will have to do is to email or text me, or talk to one of the 35 current members….!

The plan for this year is to meet at Uluru (see below) on the 27th of September. There will be a scientific session that evening before dinner, and there is the opportunity unity to climb the largest monolith in the world, before that privilege is lost from 2019. And of course the privilege of enjoying the spectacle of the play of light at sunrise and at sunset. And the blaze of stars at night. Please Don’t miss it.

But there will be far more: Dr Issac Muthiah and Dr Lakshmi Jhansi are arranging the rest of this meeting at Alice Springs, the Red Centre. So, on the 28th, we will make our way (45 minutes by air or 3.5 hours by road) to Alice Springs from Uluru, to continue our scientific pondering and the celebration of several reunions, and some new friends as well.
There is a major festival of lights in the desert at that time, along with the many things Alice has to offer. Best of all, the travel time to Alice Springs is fairly even from all across the country, with regular flights into Alice from every major city in Australia, so it is an ideal opportunity unity to cast away all excuses and join the event, which is CME approved.
Welcome to the WhatsApp group (and pesarattu), and to Uluru and Alice Springs in September!

Let us celebrate all that CMC means to us, as its proud products in a world that needs humanity more than ever.

                                                                                                                      Mahiban Thomas

Photos from the Hobart Gathering 













Australian Alumni Gathering

G O T C H A 

14th Annual Gathering  – 2018

Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th September , 2018



Organisers: Drs. Isaac Muthiah & Lakshmi
(Batch 1971)

[email protected]
[email protected]


Hi Everyone,

It is indeed our privilege to invite all CMC alumni from all branches of study at Vellore to Alice Springs in September 2018.

Alice Springs is a thriving and vibrant town in the centre of Australia well connected by air to all cities of Australia. There are daily flights to all cities. All flights land and depart mostly between 11 AM and 1 PM. If you book in advance you will get good deals.

Attractions in Alice include RFDS, school of the air and many picnic spots within 20 KM You will not see these spots anywhere else in the world. No wonder German and Japanese tourists flock here. Hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of vastness will humble anyone. PARRTJIMA Festival of Lights, a spectacular show is on from 28 September to 7 of October 2018.Of course there is Uluru or Ayers Rock 450 km from Alice.

The program is as follows:
27/9/18 – Thursday 
Arrive in Ayers Rock, CME in the afternoon. Watch Field of light Uluru after sunset both are mesmerising. There are daily flights from most cities.

28/9/18 – Friday
Watch sunrise over Ayers Rock, breakfast and leave for Alice by road or air 

lunch followed by CME. PARRTJIMA light festival from 7PM to 9.30 PM. Free bus service from several locations in town to and from Desert Park which is the venue for the festival. Many Food stalls are available on site.
9/9/18 – Saturday
Morning free to explore Alice. Options are visit Todd mall, school of the air, RFDS and art galleries. Lunch followed by CME. 7 PM dinner.
30/9/18 -Sunday
Morning service preceded by breakfast. Depart to home town. Most flights leave between 11AM and 1 PM. Sunday market which is a long established not for profit outdoor market held every second Sunday in Todd mall from 9 AM to 1 pm. People who are staying extra day in Alice may be able to visit Sunday market and we can organise a picnic.

Alumni not keen to visit Ayers Rock will fly into Alice Springs on Friday the 28 September.

Trip from Ayers Rock to Alice Springs on 28/9/18:
Option 1: Qantas flight departure 0950 hours reach Alice at 1035am. Fare as of today $208.

Option 2: drive which takes about 4 hours 30 minutes. You have start from Ayers Rock by 7.00 am soon after watching sunrise. Have breakfast along the way. Many excellent food joints available.

Stay in Ayers Rock- choice of many resorts. Cost will be around $200 per night per room. Possible to discuss group rate if we get firm requests from alumni.
Flight option is better because of time saving. Cost of driving will be cheaper by around $ 70 per head.

Our humble request to alumni:
Please decide soon, book your flights (to Ayers Rock if you are visiting Ayers or to Alice if not visiting Ayers) and return flight from Alice.
September is peak season for Alice and Ayers Rock for good reasons.
Stay in Alice: Hilton around $ 150 per night, Mercure $ 120 per night. I am in discussion with both. It is very important we get confirmation very early.
Please don’t miss this opportunity to visit Alice. Some consider it a sin not to have visited Alice Springs (Mparntwe as it is called by native elders) if you lived in Australia for some time.

WELCOME to Alice Springs.

Lakshmi and Isaac Muthiah- Batch of 1971





CMC Alumni Association

Medical Alumni Reunion 2018

9th to 11th August 2018
at CMC Vellore.


The Medical Alumni Reunion was held from 9th to 11th August 2018 with participation from over 250 alumni from various parts of the world. The special batches were 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1958-59, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988 and 1993. As part of the Centenary Year celebrations, a photograph exhibition was organised which was inaugurated by Dr. Sethu Bhaskaran (1942). Dr. J.V. Peter, Director released the song book “100 Years of Campus Music” and Dr. Joyce Ponnaiya received the first copy. On 10th August 2018 the celebrations commenced with the representatives of the special reunion batches sharing their experiences with the medical students. The alumni who spoke included Dr.Sethu Bhaskaran (1942), Dr. Razia Doshi (1958), Dr. Uma Khanduri (1963), Dr. Ajit Varki
(1968), Dr. Solomon S. Chelliah (1973), Dr. Monika Bhola (1978), Drs.Darly Mathew and Thelma Suresh (1983), Drs. Premkumar Mony and Madulika Jonathan (1988), Drs. Divyan Paul Pancharatnam and Anita Victor(1993). This was followed by a CME session for which the speakers were Dr. Bala Venkatesh (1978), Dr. Pramod David Jacob (1983) and Dr.R.Giridharan (1993). The highlight of the evening was the ‘First Inter-House Alumni Music and Dance Programme’ that involved medical students, post graduate students, junior and senior staff, alumni who had superannuated and extramural alumni spanning over fifty years. The evening was magical and electrifying. The fun, interaction and bonds that formed during the practices that went into this event and the final programme far exceeded everyone’s expectations. The General Reunion on 11th August 2018 began with the traditional tree planting ceremony and the Alumni meeting in Scudder Auditorium. Dr.Anna B. Pulimood, Principal released the book “Hundred Years, Hundred Stories”. The first copy was received by Dr. Jacob Abraham.
The Director, Dr. J.V. Peter and the Principal, Dr.Anna Pulimood presented some of the newer developments in CMC to the alumni followed by felicitations by the Medical Superintendent, Dr. Prasad Mathews. The President of the Student’s Association Mr.Paul Timothy Prabhu welcomed the alumni on behalf of the student body. The Alumni Association presented the Alumni Award of Distinction to Dr. Aravindan Nair, in recognition of his immense contribution to CMC. This was followed by the General Body Meeting of the Alumni Association and the special batch introductions and photographs. The alumni proceeded to the Men’s and Women’s Hostels, where the current students, along with the alumni, entertained the crowd. At the Thanksgiving Service, the message was delivered by Dr.Felsie Daniel (1978). The newest batch of alumni (the present interns), were given the charge to serve and not to seek to be served. Dr. Thomas Sen Bhanu (1956) and Dr. Stanley Cecil Macaden (1963) passed on the torch of light to the representatives of the batch of 2013.
Later that evening, Drs. Ashita Singh (1993) and Deepak Singh (PG Alumnus) were honoured with the College Motto Award followed by the informal entertainment, which had the packed Scudder auditorium in splits of laughter. The alumni left with loads of photographs and memories of happy times spent in Vellore.

College Motto Award

Drs. Ashita Singh (1993) and Deepak Singh

Ashita Waghmare joined the Christian Medical College Vellore in the year 1993. Her motivation to do medicine and commitment to Christ was evident through her life and example. Blessed with a wonderful voice, she was a regular member of the college choir. She married Dr. Deepak Singh, who like her, had a heart to serve in needy areas of India. Pursuing their higher studies, Ashita did her MD in General Medicine while Deepak completed MS in General Surgery, both from CMC Ludhiana. After completing their postgraduate studies in the year 2004, they moved to work in Baptist Christian Hospital, Tezpur, Assam. There was a great need for this hospital to be revived. Malnutrition, anaemia, infectious diseases like tuberculosis and malaria were rampant in that region. Challenged and moved by the healthcare situation, they began their work with much prayer. Very soon people from near and far started flocking to the hospital. With excellent surgical skills, Deepak performed both open and laparoscopic surgical procedures. In the year 2006, there was a severe outbreak of cerebral malaria and seeing the enormous need for critical care, Ashita started an Intensive Care Unit.
During their time in Tezpur, the hospital grew leaps and bounds in terms of number of patients, manpower, services, infrastructure, equipment and research. Deepak ably led the hospital as the Medical Superintendent. Many people from surrounding districts and from Arunachal Pradesh came there for treatment. The lab services which were started as a one room facility became a full-fledged three-floor laboratory with services in clinical pathology, biochemistry and microbiology. As many patients presented with acute renal failure, they started peritoneal dialysis services for them. The hospital became well equipped with Ultrasound and CT scan machines. Ashita was part of the team that was instrumental in alerting the government of an outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis. She has published research papers on Acute Undifferentiated Fever and Japanese encephalitis. She was instrumental in starting the DNB training program in Family Medicine in the hospital.
The time they spent in Tezpur from 2004 to 2011 was a testimony of their commitment, hard work and trust in God. During this period, they built a team to run the hospital. Amidst their busy schedule, they ensured they spent quality time with their lovely children Arnav and Tara. Integrating into the community, Arnav went to the local school in Tezpur. In the year 2011, Ashita and Deepak moved to CMC Vellore as Deepak got an opportunity to pursue M.Ch. in Paediatric Surgery, to better equip himself. Ashita worked as a faculty in Medical ICU and further enhanced her knowledge and skills, especially in ICU sonology. The next phase of their life from the year 2014, took them to another rural mission hospital in Chinchpada, Maharashtra. The hospital had all but shut down as there was no full-time doctor there. There were just buildings with insufficient equipment. Ashita and Deepak started their work by praying with the local church leaders and staff. Slowly as the word got around, people started coming to the hospital. Deepak again played the dual role of surgeon and Medical Superintendent, ensuring smooth running of the hospital and obtaining various hospital licenses from local regulatory bodies. Today, due to their sincere dedication and God’s provision, the hospital has a well-equipped Intensive Care Unit, Operation Theatre and diagnostic laboratories. Seeing the desperate need to care for terminally ill patients, who were in pain and many times uncared for, they started the palliative care program, giving them dignity in death and a blessed hope. They partner with churches in the area to improve health education in the community. They are also involved in research and training programs in collaboration with CMC, Vellore. Their trust in God for wisdom, provision and healing was strengthened in Chinchpada. They have inspired and kept the hospital community together by hosting fellowship meals at their home and regular potluck dinners for all sections of the staff. They formed a choir that sang three-part harmony at Chinchpada and Tezpur. Even though geographically far from CMC, Vellore, they continue to influence and inspire students from their Alma Mater in a unique way whenever students from CMC visit the hospital. The students not only have an academic treat at Chinchpada, but also witness great role models in Ashita and Deepak. Working in a remote place with minimal schooling facilities, they recently decided to send their children to a boarding school, a decision taken after much prayer and thought. Both the children have been influenced by their parents’ work that whenever there is a family conversation of moving to a city, the children are very clear that their lives have to be spent in Chinchpada. CMC’s motto of ‘not to be ministered unto but to minister’ is being lived out daily by them. They have been steadfast to their calling and selfless in service. They have made a significant contribution to improve healthcare in the country. Through their life and service, they have been a blessing to so many lives, bringing honour and glory to God. The CMC Alumni Association is proud to present the College Motto Award 2018 to Drs. Ashita and Deepak Singh. Alumni Award citation The Christian Medical College Alumni Association is proud to present the Alumni Award of Distinction 2018 to Dr. Aravindan Nair for his commitment and years of dedicated service to the Christian Medical College, Vellore, and our Alumni, as a staff of CMC and after his retirement. Dr. Aravindan Nair obtained the MBBS degree from Madurai Medical College, and then worked in CMC as a Senior House Officer between 1976 and 1979. He completed his post graduation in General Surgery from the Madurai Medical College, following which he joined the Institution in 1981.
During the 1980s, he mastered a range of general surgical procedures and helped develop the transhiatal esophagectomy, earning a reputation as a highly competent surgeon. He then developed his interest in Endocrine Surgery from his mentor  Dr. A. S. Fenn, using his study leave to train in breast and endocrine surgery in the U.K. Dr. Aravindan used the experience to develop a team approach, functioning smoothly with his medical and laboratory colleagues, to enhance the multidisciplinary care of endocrine and breast cancers and familial tumours. His great commitment to clinical care of patients inspired many students to dedicated clinical service in surgery. His personal touch to the care of patients endeared him to so many families that generations were seen coming to CMC to experience his loving care. Dr. Aravindan promoted clinical and laboratory research and played an active role in the development of subspecialties in the Department of General Surgery. He helped consolidate the annual CME programme run by the Department. He was a very popular teacher in the institution helping generations of students grasp the fundamentals of surgery. He was awarded the Best Teacher Award in 2004 by the MBBS students. He was well known for his spiritual approach to life and many struggling staff and students of CMC have been supported by his all-embracing love and concern. His special concern for sick members of the CMC community, the alumni, retired staff and relatives endeared him to a wide network in the CMC fraternity. His trademark door to door clinical and counselling services were experienced by so many staff in need on the campus and outside. Dr. Aravindan gave freely and completely of his time and energy to the institution and was a source of inspiration to colleagues in promoting its ethos of serving others first. His wife Dr. Sheila Nair (MBBS 1971) and their children Anupama (MBBS 2001) and Adarsh formed a close-knit family and were an integral part of the community. At the Ultimate Lecture given to mark his superannuation, Dr. Aravindan spoke of the many influences in his life and shared his mother’s inspiring injunction ‘to be as patient as mother earth’. Dr Aravindan always exhorted the students to make use of the great learning opportunities provided to them in the Institution and imbibe the work culture enshrined in its motto. The Alumni Association joins the CMC community in thanking Dr. Aravindan Nair for his immense contribution to the Christian Medical College, its patients, staff, students, and to those in need of love and kindness through his exemplary characteristics of integrity, high level of commitment and compassion, and is proud to honour him with the Alumni Award for the year 2018.

Alumni Reunion Photos 2018


 Minutes of the Alumni AGM

August 11th, 2018
held at Scudder Auditorium
CMC Vellore

scudder auditorium


The Annual General Body Meeting held on 11th August 2018
Special batches represented: 1953, 1958, 1958-59, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988 and 1993.

Meeting Chaired by: Dr. Abraham Peedicayil, President of Alumni Association

1. A minute silence was observed in remembrance of alumni who had passed on in the previous year.

2. Reports of the Secretary and Treasurer
Dr. Vinod Joseph Abraham, Secretary presented the minutes of the Annual General Body meeting held on 12th August 2017 which had been circulated prior to the meeting. As there were no questions or issues raised, the minutes were passed.
Dr. Vinod Joseph Abraham presented the Secretary’s report which was circulated earlier by mail, and Dr. Anne Jennifer Priscilla presented the Treasurer’s report which was circulated during the meeting. As there were no questions regarding these reports, these were passed by the General Body.

3. Networking with PG Alumni & developing the PG Alumni database
The alumni were updated on the progress made with regard to networking and communication with the PG alumni. The various departments with medical post graduate courses had been contacted and one or two individuals from each department has been requested to help in updating the database of PG alumni. The Alumni office had also made an additional effort to update the PG database after each department’s reunion/CME. In spite of this, there are still a large number of PG alumni whose contact details are not available. Several senior alumni shared how their departments had updated their databases. The alumni office would continue to work through the various departments.
Some of the additional suggestions towards this were:
– To get the contact details from the various Post graduate students before they leave CMC following their exams either directly from the various departments or from the office of the Vice Principal for Postgraduates.
Dr. P Zachariah (1949) suggested that the General Body pass a resolution to enable the Executive committee to enlist the help of staff in various departments to facilitate the inclusion of more post graduate alumni in the alumni database. This was seconded by Dr. Ajit Singh (1963)

4. Medical alumni – Health Care Assistance Fund
A full description of the Medical alumni – Health Care Assistance Fund / Alumni Distress Fund was presented by Dr. Thomas Ponna Thurairatnam (1973). The alumni were informed of the target of 1 crore and the current collection of about 15 lakhs. The various efforts to raise this corpus were described. Suggestions were sought from the floor.
Dr. Rabinder Boaz (1974) asked for a clarification on eligibility with specific reference to those working under difficult circumstances in urban areas.
Dr. Vinod Abraham clarified the eligibility –
? CMC Medical graduates who have completed an undergraduate or post graduate course
? Should ordinarily have completed 15 years of steadfast and significant service in needy areas, in mission service, or in disadvantaged and under-recognised circumstances, normally within India or in the country of origin.
Dr. Balaji (1993) suggested that we consider an insurance scheme. Although there were apprehensions raised regarding this, the committee has offered to look into this possibility.
Dr. Ashish Chauhan (1993) also suggested looking into the possibility of a group insurance.
Other matters:
Dr. Yap Kannan Ruben (1993) suggested that CMC network more with alumni who are in places where further training of its staff could be given.

5. Alumni reunion 2019
The dates for the next Alumni Reunion were confirmed – August 8th – 10th, 2019.
Special batches for reunion 2019 – 1944, ’49, ’54, ’59-60, ’64, ’69, ’74, ’84, ‘89, ’94

6. Election of office bearers
The following Alumni were recommended by the Executive Committee for the various posts which needed to be filled:
President – Dr. Abraham Peedicayil (1975) who completed the remaining one year tenure of Dr. Prathap Tharyan (1974) as President for a full three year term (from 2018 – 2021).
Vice President Intramural – Dr. Shyam Kumar (PG Alumnus, Radiodiagnosis) as Vice President Intramural for a period of 3 years (from 2018 – 2021).
Vice President Extramural – Dr. Stanley Macaden (1963) as Vice President Extramural for a period of 3 years (from 2018 – 2021).
Editor – Dr. Abhay Deodas Gahukamble (1995) to complete the remaining unfinished 1 year of Dr. Kishore Pichamuthu (1994) (from 2018-2019)
Entertainment – Dr. Pritish John Korula (1998) as Entertainment Secretary for a second term of 1 year (from 2018 – 2019).
The above nominations were unanimously approved and passed by the General Body.
Appreciation was recorded for the outgoing members of the Executive Committee:
– Vice President Extramural Dr. Ajit Butt – for his keen interest in and constant support for the activities of the Alumni Association.
– Vice President Intramural Dr. Ramani Manoj – for her ever willingness to help and step in and for facilitating the improvement of the PG database.
– Editor Dr. Kishore Pichamuthu for his help at the time of initiation of the new alumni website.

7. The following were specially thanked:
– All the alumni who had participated and taken on responsibilities for the very successful First Inter-House Alumni Music & Dance Competition.
– The representatives of the special batches for coordinating the various events and activities with their batches.
– All the alumni from batches other than the special batches, particularly the senior alumni for their effort to attend the Reunion.
– Mr. Nirmal the Secretary of the Alumni Office and Mr. Keerthi.
– Dr. Pippa Pavamani for organizing and arranging the Photograph Exhibition and for compiling the book “100 years, 100 stories”.
– Dr. Sunithi Mani Alexander for organizing the Thanksgiving Service.
– Dr. Abraham Peedicayil for his constant guidance and support and always being available.
– Dr. P Zachariah for his constant encouragement and guidance to the Executive Committee.
– Dr. Anne Jennifer for her quiet yet steady involvement in the committee.
– A special word of thanks was made for the entertainment secretary, Dr. Pritish John Korula for the successful conduct of this programme.

The meeting ended with the College Song.
                           Vinod Joseph Abraham, Secretary, Alumni Association.


Alumni Association
Annual News Letter

Alumni Newsletter 2017 






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